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Old 05-17-2004, 11:34 PM
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Default planning a large vivarium

I have a 230 gallon 3 foot tall hex tank that I'm planning on building into a vivarium.

I have zero experience in keeping arrow frogs or any frog for that matter besides local species.

I'm wondering if it's possible to keep more than one species in an enclosure this large or would I be risking hybridization? Will dendros crossbreed?

Also, it has been suggested to me that an enclosure this big would present a problem in feeding the frogs. Anyone want to elaborate? Or better yet, does anyone have an enclosure this big that they keep arrow frogs in?
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Old 05-18-2004, 04:00 AM
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Default Re: planning a large vivarium

moneymike,

We often advise our customers to start much smaller. In a tank that large you are less likely to see your frogs and therefore less likely to notice if a problem occurs.

Yes darts can and do crossbreed. Almost everyone will tell you to keep each tank species / morph specific. Cross breeding is looked upon as being very unethical in dart frogs. I have 3 or 4 cross bred dart frogs in my frog room. I purchased them to get them off of the market. They do breed but the eggs are never allowed to develop. They are very pretty frogs. I just don't want frogs on the market that may be mistaken as 'pure'. We actually have a photo of a Dwarf Cobalt and one of these crosses side by side and it's very difficult to tell the difference. I'll try to post it in the next few days.

The problem with the feeding in a tank that large is that it is such a large area the frogs probably would have a difficult time finding their food.

For a beginner I would really recommend a 10 or 20 gallon tank. Then you are better able to learn how to maintain that enviroment or mini ecosystem. You also learn about the frogs more because you are able to watch them more. When you get that under you belt and you feel confident with your darts. Work your way up to the bigger tank.


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Originally Posted by moneymike
I have a 230 gallon 3 foot tall hex tank that I'm planning on building into a vivarium.

I have zero experience in keeping arrow frogs or any frog for that matter besides local species.

I'm wondering if it's possible to keep more than one species in an enclosure this large or would I be risking hybridization? Will dendros crossbreed?

Also, it has been suggested to me that an enclosure this big would present a problem in feeding the frogs. Anyone want to elaborate? Or better yet, does anyone have an enclosure this big that they keep arrow frogs in?
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Old 05-18-2004, 04:16 AM
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OK -- I found the picture. Melissa posted this on Kingsnake once I think. It's pretty hard to tell the difference between the two frogs. Especially if you take into consideration the lighting differences of the two photos.

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Old 05-21-2004, 04:52 PM
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Personally I have never setup a tank that large, but check out the following link. http://www.frogworld.nl/dutchvivariums.html The tanks here are huge and they keep mulitple types of frogs together. Hope this helped.
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Old 05-21-2004, 06:18 PM
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Well I've decided it's too big for now, I'd like to get a little experience under my belt with a smaller setup. I think I'll go with one of those 18 gallon jobs that looks like a tall 10g.

I'm pretty sure I want to do a pair of D. azureus, but D. tinctorius keeps tempting me.... Either way, they're both more of a terrestrial than arboreal frog, right?

Are there dwarf varieties of bromeliads and orchids? I want to do this tank as a sort of "nano-dutch-style", complete with false bottom, water feature, flevopol background/terracing, ghost wood, plants and mosses. I don't want any huge plants.

Who are my best sources for a pair of unrelated F1 D. azureus? I'd like to breed them, and from my experience at fishkeeping, inbreeding is lame and leaves me with the uncomfortable choice of keeping deformed fish or euthanizing them...

Whats the easiest way to rear fruit flies? I don't mind doing it for the sake of keeping such beautiful frogs, but was hoping someone had a method they'd share that was as low maintenance as possible.
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Old 05-21-2004, 06:23 PM
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You can kill 2 birds with one stone and get a pair of azureus, since "D. azureus has typed out genetically to be a 'morph' of D. tinctorius." Yeager

Quote:
Originally Posted by moneymike
Well I've decided it's too big for now, I'd like to get a little experience under my belt with a smaller setup. I think I'll go with one of those 18 gallon jobs that looks like a tall 10g.

I'm pretty sure I want to do a pair of D. azureus, but D. tinctorius keeps tempting me.... Either way, they're both more of a terrestrial than arboreal frog, right?

Are there dwarf varieties of bromeliads and orchids? I want to do this tank as a sort of "nano-dutch-style", complete with false bottom, water feature, flevopol background/terracing, ghost wood, plants and mosses. I don't want any huge plants.

Who are my best sources for a pair of unrelated F1 D. azureus? I'd like to breed them, and from my experience at fishkeeping, inbreeding is lame and leaves me with the uncomfortable choice of keeping deformed fish or euthanizing them...

Whats the easiest way to rear fruit flies? I don't mind doing it for the sake of keeping such beautiful frogs, but was hoping someone had a method they'd share that was as low maintenance as possible.
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Old 05-21-2004, 06:49 PM
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I think I've decided to do this in a 26 bowfront. roughly the size of a standard 20 high, only bowed in the front obviously, and about 6 gallons taller

I'm going to have a friend build a hood for it, and I was curious... do dart frogs climb glass? should I have the entire top screened? For lighting I was going to do a double 24" fluorescent fixture with 1 reptisun 5.0 and and 1 grow light of some sort for the plants (open to suggestions).

For heating I'm thinking like a 50 - 100 watt aquarium heater under the false bottom.

Background will be Great Stuff™ expanding foam, covered in cocofiber mixed with flevopol, with ghost wood molded in... although... I have a small broken-top stump I was using in my old fishtank... it looks nice, is there any way to tell how suitable it would be in a tropical vivarium? IE: will it mold, etc. It seemed to do fine in the aquarium, but I'm hesitant to build it into my background if theres no sure way to tell...

AND... does $250 sound like too much to pay for a sexed pair of azureus?
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Old 05-28-2004, 12:03 AM
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bump ops:
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Old 05-28-2004, 12:18 AM
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250 is a good price, if you want a pair get them from patrick at http://www.saurian.net he has great frogs, and excellent service. I got a pair of surinam cobalts from him and I couldnt be any happier with them, I expect them to breed any time now. I am also on waiting lists for about 15 frogs of diferent morphs and species. He has multile bloodlines so you can get a unrelated pair. With dart frogs you can go up to f10 without problems, but I dont feel comfortable with going past f3-f4.
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Old 05-28-2004, 01:28 AM
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I say, go for the big tank man. What i would do is plan and construct the 230, but keep the frogs in a 10g quarantine to get used to feeding and keeping etc. Your supposed to quarantine all animals anyway; why not have some fun with projects while your at it. It isnt very hard.

just my opinion.
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Old 05-28-2004, 03:40 AM
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Since it sounds like you haven't actually made a vivarium before, I would suggest making the 26 gallon or similar medium sized tank. This way you can make any minor mistakes while creating this and then rethink them for the larger tank. So you can plan the big tank from things you have learned through experience instead of from reading about and doing research (which I think is great, but it is always a little different when you actually try something). Also, you can try different plants in this tank to see what you like and what grows well for you. There are many plants, orchids, and bromelaids that are suitable for dart frog tanks and remain small... but if I was you I would think big for the large tank, if you have the room why not use it?

D. azureus is mainly a terrestrial frog, but would be cool to have in a large tank with another speceis (thumbnails, pumilio, epipes, or phylo).... but that needs even more experience with each individual species first, then you can mix them after you know them first hand. Also I would highly recommend Patrick of Saurian for your D. azureus. He is great to work with, has great animals, and like some one else noted has multiple bloodlines... solves all your problems. If he doesn't have any, you might want to talk to Phil Tan or Sean Stewart. Both are also great guys with great frogs.

Alright I have rambled enough, good luck with it and welcome to the addiction... oh, I mean "hobby".
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Old 05-28-2004, 06:30 PM
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The 230 gallon would be great to set up, I know, but the problem is fitting the thing through my front door (its like 3' tall and 4'x4'wide). I have to remove the door jam and turn it sideways, so full of rocks and wood and plants and such, its gonna be a pain to move back out. I'm gonna wait til I move to a more permanent home.

What lighting would you guys recommend for the 26? Two 24" fluorescents: One Reptisun 5.0 for the frogs and one grow bulb.... what kind of bulbs do y'all use?
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Old 05-28-2004, 06:36 PM
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I personally use a 2x36watt CF and a 2x13watt over my 38 gallon tank.

the compact flourescent lights are awesome.
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Old 05-28-2004, 07:29 PM
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There are many opinions on what lights to use, but the frogs don't really care... its more for the plants and our viewing pleasure. I think the 2 24" fluorescents with the bulbs you said will be just fine. Plus if you are unhappy with them you can always upgrade, but I really think they whould give you enough light. I use shoplights with 2 fluorescent bulbs, nothing special and I have broms turn red, pup, flower, and plants grow like weeds... and I think it cost me like $8 total for like 4 tanks.
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Old 05-28-2004, 11:22 PM
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nice, thx jbeetle. =)
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Old 05-29-2004, 01:00 AM
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I just had to deal with lighting for my 30 xh. I ended up with 2 flouresent strip hoods. One with a 15watt ,6,700k sun-aquarium bulb or something like that. The other has a 15watt Repti-Sun 5.0. The setup seems to give decent lighting and its pretty straightforward.
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